Air Aruba suspended service Monday, which could impact passengers bound for Crown Cruise Lines’ Crown Dynasty
. The 800-passenger Crown Dynasty, which launches its seasonal Caribbean itinerary on November 4, home ports in Aruba (and visits Curacao, St. Lucia, Barbados, Grenada and Bonaire). While Air Aruba is certainly not the only airline that flies between the U.S. and Oranjestaad (others include American, Delta, Continental and TWA, and US Airways begins flights from Philadelphia Nov. 12), the airline’s sudden shutdown could inconvenience cruise passengers.
According to Crown Cruise Lines’ president Ron Kurtz, the company already operates one charter aircraft out of Tampa and is looking for another to replace lost Air Aruba seats. In the meantime, Crown is working with the other airlines to rebook passengers who purchased its air package.
On the other hand, cruisers who booked their own air on Air Aruba must, in effect, go back to the drawing board and buy another airline ticket -- while pursuing a refund of the unusable Air Aruba ticket. How? A couple of options exist: You can apply for a refund from your travel agency, credit card company (if you charged it), or your insurance company (if you purchased trip cancellation protection). If those avenues aren’t applicable, go through Air Aruba; call 1-800-88-ARUBA and ask for a refund application form.